I completed my Camino de Santiago in September 2014. Along the way, I encountered people who were at various crossroads in their lives. Some had lost children or partners. Some had just retired from long careers. Some were on a school or career break. Some needed to check out from their daily lives to reset and regroup.
I had more conversations about Camino motivations and learning along the way than I can recall. My story was boring and consistent: “It just feels like the right time in my life to do this.” I did my daily kilometres, collected my compostela, and flew home.
In April 2015, I lost my job. The government department where I worked was eliminated, my position along with it. On a sunny April morning, the first nice weather we had seen after a tough slog of a winter, my former colleagues and I streamed out of a conference room with our hand-delivered letters into blinding sunlight and uncertainty. As it turns out, receiving the compostela was the beginning of the journey, not the end of one.
I took the overnight Trenhotel between Barcelona and Granada when I travelled in Spain in 2011. I knew starting the Camino de Santiago in Leon, approximately 300 km from Santiago de Compostela, would require a bus or train from Madrid or Barcelona, so once I booked a flight to Barcelona, taking Trenhotel to Leon became an option.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about returning to the Camino de Santiago. In fact, I’m having a hard time getting my head to go anywhere else these days. Thinking back to September 2014, I stood among crowds of peregrinos and daytrippers in the path of giant incense burner, feeling like I accomplished something significant in my life, even though the purpose wasn’t entirely clear at that point. So, today, I think about the Camino and whether we’re meant to meet again sooner, rather than later.
If you love pizza, I mean really love pizza, you will want to become a warrior in the legendary pizza feud between Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s, located next door to each other under the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighbourhood.
New York is a year-round destination, but the tourist population is at its most dense in the summer and between American Thanksgiving and New Year’s. If you want to experience a slightly quieter New York, visit in the dead of winter, like I just did.
Winter travel can be a drag. Snowstorms are common in the Northeastern United States, and temperatures can vary wildly. However, hotels are a little cheaper, tickets for shows are the same price, but the seat choices are better, restaurants and bars are easier to get into, and if you want to see a tv show taping, far less effort may be required on your part. Continue reading Visit New York in the winter? YES!→
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